A female black bear and four yearling cubs who have been making a living Dumpster diving in Anchorage will get a new home—and not that great trout stream in the sky, thanks in part to the actions of Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. As the Alaska Dispatch News reports, Walker yesterday intervened to plead for the lives of the quintet, which were set to be euthanized, by asking the state Fish and Game commissioner if there was another solution. "I’m sure there will be plenty of criticism about the governor getting involved in this," Walker said. "But I’m a person too. I have a soft spot for individuals in circumstances not of their own making."
The bears will now likely be trapped and transported about 60 miles away, so as to inhibit their return. "I'm here in Juneau being inundated with budget issues and having to say no to all these programs," Walker continues. "I felt these bears had done nothing wrong and just thought it was the right thing to do." Speaking of those budget issues, the Fish and Game chief says it won't be too pricey to move the bears—but don't expect relocation to replace euthanasia as the norm. "There are a lot of bears so it would be expensive if you had somebody doing it full time," he says. Both men underscore that it was a request from Walker that resulted in "a collective decision," per KTUU, not an order.